Coastal Environment for Recreation and Tourism: Problems and Prospects

U.T. Umoh (Botswana) and E.E. Etim (Nigeria)


Coastal environment, recreational and tourism development, site planning and management


Coastal environment (beach/sand dunes) represents one of the most valuable and highly changeable landscapes. It could be there one day and gone the next. This instability relates to natural phenomenon of the coastal environment, presenting both opportunities and problems for its use. Human activities on this fragile environment often result in widespread impairment, causing problems of shore erosion, flood and property damage. In spite of these problems, development on this environment is on the increase worldwide due to its attractiveness, providing open vistas and access to the shore. Nigeria has about 800km long coastline of white sand beaches that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean, from Badagry in the west to the mouth of Cross River in the east. The most pressing problem of the Nigeria’s coast is the rapid rate of erosion and beach retreat. Any human activity on this fragile environment without proper management strategies is likely to accelerate its degradation. As interest in beachfront development is increasingly growing, this paper looks at the geomorphic processes at work in the make-up and dynamics of beachfronts, particularly the sand dune formation so as to evaluate the potentials and problems of developing recreation and tourist facilities on them without impairment.

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